Compulsory leave in Singapore

In addition to salary, employees in Singapore may be entitled to benefits too. One mandatory employment benefit in Singapore is compulsory leave.

Annual leave

Under the Singapore Employment Act, each employee is entitled to paid annual leave after they have worked for the employer for at least 3 months.

The annual leave entitlement depends on the number of years of service with the employer, as illustrated below:

Year of service

Days of Leave

1st

7

2nd

8

3rd

9

4th

10

5th

11

6th

12

7th

13

8th and thereafter

14

Sick leave

Each employee is entitled to both paid outpatient sick leave and paid hospitalization leave.

To be eligible for this entitlement, an employee needs to:

  • Have worked for the employer for at least 3 months
  • Be covered under the Employment Act.
  • Notify the employer of the absence within 48 hours
  • Obtain medical certificate by a medical practitioner registered under the Medical Registration Act or Dental Registration Act.

Paid hospitalization leave is the period that a medical practitioner considers necessary for an employee to recover.

An employee qualifies for paid hospitalization leave when they are:

  • Certified by a medical practitioner who can admit patients into an approved hospital
  • Warded in a hospital as an in-patient or for day surgery
  • Not hospitalized but needs bed rest or further medical treatment, especially after the discharge from the hospital to recover properly
  • Quarantined under any written law

Childcare leave

Eligible working parents who are Singapore nationals are entitled to up to 6 days of paid childcare leave per year, whilst non-Singaporean parents are entitled to 2 days of paid childcare leave annually.

Singaporean working parents may be eligible for Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) provided ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • Child is aged 7 or below
  • Child is a Singaporean
  • Have at least 3 continuous months of service at the company

The first 3 days of leave are paid by the employer, the remaining 3 days are covered by the Government, and payments are limited to $500 a day (CPF contributions included).

Each parent of the child gets 6 days a year for childcare leave until the child turns 7 years old, regardless of the number of children the family has. Nevertheless. the total childcare leave is limited to 42 days per year for each parent.

It is necessary to use up the childcare leave entitlement by the end of the year as it is not allowed to be carried forward to next year.

Maternity leave

All working mothers are entitled to either 12 weeks of paid Maternity Leave or 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave. The Maternity Leave may be taken as early as 28 days before child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth)

To be eligible for 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave, a working mother has to meet these conditions:

  • Child is a Singapore citizen
  • Has served the employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of the child
  • For a self-employed mother, she has been engaged in her work for at least 3 continuous months and has lost income during the leave period
  • Has given her employer at least 1 week’s notice before going on leave and informed them as soon as possible of the delivery. Otherwise, she is only entitled to half the payment during maternity leave, unless there is a valid reason for not providing the notice.

Employers are required to pay the usual monthly salary during the 16-week leave period. They can then claim reimbursement from the Government under the Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme.

  • For the first and second birth, the government reimburses the last 8 weeks.
  • For the third and all subsequent births, the government reimburses all 16 weeks.

The balance 8 weeks’ GPPL may be taken within 12 months from child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth) in two ways:

  • Taken in continuous weeks, immediately after the first 8 weeks;  or
  • Taken non-continuously within 12 months from child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth), with mutual agreement between employer and employee

The Government will reimburse/pay for GPML, capped at $10,000 per 4 week per child, including CPF contributions.

Meanwhile, the employer is required to notify MOM if and when its foreign female employee gets pregnant.

Contact us for further clarification.

Paternity leave

All working fathers are entitled to Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) for every child born provided ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • The new-born child is a Singapore citizen
  • He is currently lawfully married to the child’s mother or had been married to her between conception and birth. (This requirement does not affect adoptive fathers)
  • Has served the employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of the child
  • For the self-employed, he needs to have been engaged in work for a continuous period of at least 3 months before birth of the child, and have suffered a loss of income during paternity leave

The working father is entitled to 2 weeks of GPPL, capped at $5,000 per child, including CPF contributions.

The GPPL can be arranged in two ways:

  • Taken in continuous weeks within 16 weeks from child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth) or
  • Taken non-continuously within 12 months from child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth), with mutual agreement between employer and employee

Shared Parental leave

Working fathers can share up to 4 weeks of their wife’s Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) or Adoption Leave (AL) benefits.

The Government will reimburse/pay for all 4 weeks of SPL, capped at $2,500 per week or a total of $10,000 for 4 weeks per child, including CPF contributions.

Eligibility and terms and conditions apply. Contact us for more details.

Adoption leave

Adoptive mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of paid adoption leave, provided ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • The child is below the age of 12 months at the point of formal intent to adopt. For local children, the formal intent to adopt happens when you file the court application to adopt. For foreign children, it’s when in-principle approval is granted for a Dependent’s Pass.
  • The adopted child is a Singapore citizen.
  • If the child isn’t a Singapore citizen, it must become one within 6 months of the adoption and one of the adoptive parents must be a Singapore citizen.
  • The adoption order has to be passed no later than 1 year after the formal intent to adopt.
  • Has served the employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the formal intent to adopt.

Employers are required to pay the usual monthly salary during the 12-week leave period. They can then claim reimbursement from the Government under the Government-Paid Adoption Leave (GPAL) scheme.

  • For the first and second birth, the government reimburses the last 8 weeks.
  • For the third and all subsequent births, the government reimburses all 12 weeks.

The balance 4 weeks’ GPPL may be taken within 12 months from child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth) in two ways:

  • Taken in continuous weeks, immediately after the first 8 weeks;  or
  • Taken non-continuously within 12 months from child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth), with mutual agreement between employer and employee

The Government will reimburse/pay for AL, capped at $10,000 per 4 week per child, including CPF contributions.

Contact us for further clarification.

Paid hospitalization leave

Working fathers can share up to 4 weeks of their wife’s Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) or Adoption Leave (AL) benefits.

The Government will reimburse/pay for all 4 weeks of SPL, capped at $2,500 per week or a total of $10,000 for 4 weeks per child, including CPF contributions.

Eligibility and terms and conditions apply. Contact us for more details.

Marriage leave

Marriage leave is not a statutory entitlement under Singapore’s Employment Act. Most employers, however, offer marriage leave as part of their policy. A common practice is for the employer to offer a few days of paid leave, which is usually 3 days.

Compassionate leave

Compassionate leave is not a statutory entitlement under Singapore’s Employment Act.

This type of leave depends solely on the employee’s employment contract or company HR policy. Nevertheless, most employers do provide compassionate leave for passing of a family member of the employee.

Contact us

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